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12 Years a Slave (2013)

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In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

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(screenplay), (based on "Twelve Years a Slave" by)
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Top Rated Movies #198 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 234 wins & 326 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dickie Gravois ...
Overseer
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Anna
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Cameron Zeigler ...
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Mister Mackey Jr. ...
Randall
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Storyline

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty personified by a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life. Written by Fox Searchlight

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The extraordinary true story of Solomon Northup


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twelve Years a Slave  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$923,715 (USA) (18 October 2013)

Gross:

$56,667,870 (USA) (2 May 2014)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vera Farmiga auditioned for Mistress Epps but Sarah Paulson was cast. Farmiga admitted that she wanted the role so much, but was happy for Paulson. See more »

Goofs

When Solomon is being sold to Master Ford, the two nude women in the background both have shaved pubic hair, something virtually impossible in the 1840s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Overseer: Alright now, y'all fresh niggers. Y'all gonna be in the cuttin' gang.
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Soundtracks

The Devil's Dream
Arranged by Nicholas Britell and Tim Fain
Performed by Tim Fain
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
As high as cinema can go
12 January 2014 | by (london uk) – See all my reviews

It's rare that a movie lives up to its hype, even rarer that the hype is transcended by the actual achievement. 12 YEARS A SLAVE does both. Aided by powerful performances and cinematography, director McQueen exposes the barbarity of dehumanisation, of treating people as property. Reviews focus on the brutality on display, and it's true that the film is not easy to watch, with its powerful juxtaposition of sublime scenery and human degradation. But to me the final scene is the most powerful of all: we are party to the kind of raw emotion that in the hands of lesser artists could easily descend into tawdriness or sentimentality. Here, as in the rest of the film, it is raised up high, as high as cinematic art can go.


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